WEEKDAY EDITION: Nice to hear that Bob-
W1GWU's wife is home from rehab and doing
fine...25 days until I leave for Florida and some
warm weather as well as a little business....
In QST’s latest edition, their
antenna issue, the cover shows a picture of Chase Mertz of
Eldorado, Tex. climbing a tower while working on a project
with the Eldorado Space Program, an Eldorado High School
program that teaches students to design instrumentation
packages and launch them into space, according to the
magazine’s cover notes.
Unfortunately, it illustrates an unacceptable tie off
procedure that could easily launch students off of a tower
to their deaths.
Professionals will easily identify the host of 100% fall
protection safety violations that are pictured such as an
improper dorsal assembly system with an unacceptable knot
that has its trailing end tied off with cable ties.
ARRL should know better than to promote such an unsafe
photograph, recognizing that many of their members are now
silent keys after they fell from a tower.
The photograph was provided by the Eldorado Space Program
which is troubling since educators are allowing their
students to engage in dangerous and possibly deadly
The program identifies their members as The League of
Extraordinary Space Cowboys. Ironically, cowboy is a
term given to early industry climbers that disregarded
safety disciplines and fell to their death.
ARRL Chief Executive Officer and QST Publisher Tom
Gallagher, should reach out to the National Association of
Tower Erectors and they will in all probability provide
timely and accurate information for an upcoming edition
regarding the need for the observance of professional
climber safety precautions while working on ham radio
He should also contact the space program’s student
advisor, teacher Paul McWhorter, to immediately stop any of
the group’s members from climbing towers.
NO RADIO SILENCE IN ANTARCTICA
PAUL: In another cold place, on the opposite end of
the planet, hams still await signals from hams at
McMurdo Station in Antarctica. There are, however,
alternatives as we hear from Amateur Radio
Newsline's Jeremy Boot G4NJH.
JEREMY'S REPORT: The ice hasn't melted in Antarctica
but there appears to be something of a thaw anyway -
at least in terms of amateur radio communications.
The KC4USV operation at McMurdo Station hasn't been
on the air in two years but if you've been listening
during the last few weeks you might have heard
someone else - KC4AAA -- at the U.S. Amundsen-Scott
South Pole Station. Sure enough, there was activity
on SSB on 40 meters. Even though the station wasn't
on the air too often during 2016, it was active in
December and January and will be sending out QSL
cards in March, according to the QSL Manager Larry
Skilton K1IED (KAY-ONE-EYE-EE-DEE).
If you can't get through to KC4AAA, try Mikhail
“Mike” Fokin, RI1AND, at Novolazarevskaya Base,
Antarctica. He has been working stations in the U.S.
on 40 and 20 meters using PSK31. You also have a few
more days - until the 22nd of February, to contact
Oleg Neruchev, ZS1OIN/UA3HK. He is active as RI1ANN
from the Russian Progress station.
Meanwhile, McMurdo Station KC4USV is waiting for a
thaw of its own and K1IED requests, on its QRZ page,
that hams contact the National Science Foundation
and press them to put the station back on the air.
THIS 'COMEBACK KID' IS AN OM
PAUL: What's more satifying as making radio contact
with a ham from the North Cook Islands? How
about...helping him get on the air in the first
place! Amateur Radio Newsline's Jim Meachen ZL2BHF
tells us that story.
JIM: There's a voice back on the HF bands, and the
sound of some well-practiced Code, coming from the
North Cook Islands that some longtime hams haven't
heard in about 30 years. Pia Taraeka E51PT, also
known as Papa Pia, has had his license but until
recently little else to get on the air.
That all changed recently thanks to two hams from
the Western Washington DX Club, W7DX. Papa Pia
received a donation of radio gear from Bob Nielsen
N7XY. Another club member, Bengt-Erik Norum
K7ADD/E51AMF, who has been active from the region on
a DXpedition, helped get the shack up and running
again. The DX Club is one of the West Coast's
largest, most active radio clubs on the West Coast.
Now Papa Pia can resume a radio career that began in
1962 when he was employed as a radio operator for
the Cook Island and New Zealand governments. His
amateur radio activity ended in 1984, he says in his
He's back now, so be listening for him and please
note - if you contact him, he only accepts QSL cards
mailed directly to him.
HONORING A HEROIC HAM AND HIS CREW
PAUL: There is a movement to honor the heroic and
quick-thinking actions of one amateur radio operator
and three other crew members on board a military
aircraft nearly 43 years ago. We hear more from
Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks AE5DW.
DON's REPORT: On September 15th, 1974 Staff Sergeant
Homer Perry K4YZJ and three other crewmen on board a
C-7A aircraft serving with the 94th Tactical Airlift
Wing at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia were on a
local training mission with 13 Aeromedical personnel
During the takeoff roll, the number-2 engine
exploded and erupted into flames. Unable to abort
the takeoff, they continued and attempted a
go-around and began shut down procedures on the
number-2 engine and to extinguish the fire.
Due to a magnesium fire in the engine nacelle,
practically impossible to put out, the first attempt
to extinguish the fire failed. Witnesses testified
seeing flames trailing as much as 100 feet behind
the number-2 engine.
With an unsuccessful first attempt, the crew
discharged the remaining engine fire extinguisher,
also unsuccessful. The aircraft commander was able
to turn the aircraft around and lined up with the
opposite runway as the fire eventually
The crew made a successful emergency landing and
safely evacuated all personnel on the aircraft.
Investigators say that had the fire not been
extinguished, the aircraft would have likely
exploded in mid-flight resulting in wing separation.
The rapid and decisive actions of the crew resulted
in the saving of 17 lives and a multi-million-dollar
aircraft from total destruction.
There is a petition to award the crew the
Distinguished Flying Cross for their heroism.
If you would like to add your name to honor Homer
Perry, K4YZJ and the rest of this brave crew please
visit www.thepetitionsite.com, click browse and
search for Heroism after 43 years. The
detailed link can be found in the printed edition of
this week's Newsline report. You can also
visit the Facebook page. Facebook.com/DFCfortheC7crew.
SHORTWAVE FEST LONG ON AMBITION
PAUL: Listen up! There's still time to register for
the 30th anniversary of the Shortwave Listeners'
Fest in Pennsylvania. Amateur Radio Newsline's
Stephen Kinford N8WB has those details.
STEPHEN: The North American Shortwave Association is
looking for a few good listeners. Well, more than a
few, actually. Radio hobbyists are gathering in
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, just north of
Philadelphia, from March 2nd through March 4th for
the Winter SWL-Fest. They will explore scanning,
satellite TV, shortwave, mediumwave and even take a
look at pirate broadcasting. Attendees in the past
have typically included broadcasters from Voice of
America, Trans World Radio, Swiss Radio
International and China Radio International, among
others. There will also be a late-night listening
session on Friday, which will include a celebration
of the 30th anniversary of the SWL-Fest.
Yes there's still time to register and you can do
that online. Visit swlfest.com for details.
For Amateur Radio Newsline I'm Stephen Kinford N8WB
NEWEST RADIO INTERFERENCE UNDER THE SUN?
PAUL/ANCHOR: Though a solar array can save some
homeowners big on their energy bills, it's very
possible nearby amateurs are paying a price on the
bands. If you are experiencing interference on the
air and you believe the source is a nearby solar
array, the Federal Communications Commission wants
to hear from you. Whether the solar setup is right
next door or a few doors down, the agency would like
you to document the issue and explain why you
believe the solar array is the source of problem.
They can then proceed with the investigation.
According to the FCC's Deborah Chen, complaints can
be filed with the agency and should include any or
all of the following: photographs, recordings and
any other meaningful supportive documents.
Submit your complaints on the agency website at
"Consumercomplaints" is one word.
TWO SILENT KEYS FOR THE CENTURY
PAUL: We note now the recent passing of two Silent
Keys who were not just longtime radio operators but
centenarians. Amateur Radio Newsline's Heather Embee
KB3TZD has the details.
HEATHER:The amateur radio world has lost two among
its most senior operators. In Russia, Oleg S.
Klyucharev ( pronounced ‘clue-cha-rev ’), U-1-A-U,
became a Silent Key the age of 102. At the time of
his death on January 31st, Oleg was an active
amateur radio operator. He died only days after
Charlie Hellman, W-2-R-P, became a Silent Key in the
United States at the age of 106. Oleg had been
licensed since 1933 and got his present call sign
the following year. A veteran of World War II, he
had been a member of the Amateur Radio Association
of St. Petersburg.
Charlie, who lived in New York's Hudson Valley, died
on January 25th. He had been licensed for 92 years
an d was honored in 2015 by the Quarter Century
Wireless Association with a "90 Year Continuous
Licensed" certificate award.
Another very senior radio enthusiast, a former
licensed ham, died on January 28th at the age of
108. Mary Cousins was no longer active as W-1-G-S-C,
but she got her license in 1933 becoming the first
woman in the state of Maine to become a ham radio
THE WORLD OF DX
In the world of DX, it's time to look to those
mountain tops, with two Summit to Summit events
planned in March. The first organised by Mike 2E0YYY
and Andrew VK1AD is a long path Europe to Australia
event for Saturday 11 March 2017 starting at 06:30
UTC. Activity will be SSB or CW on 20 metres. The
second event planned by Pete WA7JTM and Andrew VK1AD
is for the Australia-North America path is later in
the UTC day from 19:30 UTC, or 6:30am Sunday in
Eastern Australia. Check reflector.sota.org.uk
for details of both events. Contacts with home
stations are welcome from the SOTA activators
however those contacts between the mountain peaks
are very special.
Several U.S. operators are operating from Guantanamo
Bay until February 24th. Be listening for KG4WV,
KG4AW, KG4DY and KG4ZK. Visit each of their pages on
QRZ.COM for details about QSL cards.
Alain F5OZC and Sebastien F8DQZ are operating until
February 26th from the Los Islands off the coast of
Guinea. They are using the call sign 3XY3D. Their
QSL manager is F5OZC.
Listen for Eric SM1TDE who will be active as 5X8EW
from Entebbe in Uganda from February 23rd through
the 26th. You can hear him on 40 meters through 10
meters using CW. Send QSL cards to his home call
KICKER: A VERY MERRY "CHRISTMAS HAM"
PAUL: We close this week's report with the story of
a newly ticketed amateur who may not be the ONLY ham
on an Indian Ocean island but he might just be its
newest. Amateur Radio Newsline's John Williams
VK4JJW tells us his tale.
JOHN'S REPORT: He's calling himself the Christmas
Ham even though it's already February. Cliff Tindall,
VK9VKL, is a new licensee who has chosen to announce
his advent on the bands by posting on QRZ.COM and on
He says he's the newest ham on Christmas Island --
even if he can't get on the air just yet.
Christmas is coming soon enough for Cliff, however,
because his rig, antenna and other equipment are on
their way to his remote location in the Indian
Ocean, 870 miles northwest of Australia. He explains
on QRZ how his relatively remote location made a
Foundation license impractical for him as a DXer, so
he studied even more intensely to qualify for a
It's challenging and lonely not having regular club
meetings or an Elmer next door, so while Cliff
awaits the contents of his new shack to be
delivered, he's been blogging at
(vk9vkl.island.cx) bringing the world up to date. As
of early February, there's a G5RV enroute to be his
starter antenna and a Yaesu FTDX 1200 transceiver -
among all the other items on his Christmas list.
Meanwhile, he's puzzling out the slow and costly
process of sending those eventual QSL cards out. For
their eventual recipients, they're bound to become
Christmas cards of a very different sort.
New England Hams you
might run across on 3864 or 3910.........
K1TP- Jon....Editor of As The
KB1JXU- Matthew...75 meter
regular...our token liberal Democrat out of VT
Regular......residing on the Cape of Cod, flying
planes and playing radio
Meter Regular....teaches the future of mankind, it's
the Hosstrader's original organizers, 75 meter
regular, Tech Wizard!!!
of Davis-RF....my best friend from high school
K9AEN-John...Easy going ham
found at all the hamfests
K1JEK-Joe...Easy going, can be
found at most ham flea market ...Cobra Antenna
John.........Dr. Linux....fine amateur radio op
....wealth of experience...
KA1GJU- Kriss- Tower climbing pilot who cooks on
the side at Hosstrader's...
going, Harley riding kind of guy!
guy, loves to split cordwood and hunt...
talented ham, loves his politics, has designed gear
Force Controller...told quite a few pilots where to
N1OOL-Jeff- The 3936 master
plumber and ragchewer...
K1BRS-Bruce- Computer Tech of 3936...multi
talented kidney stone passing ham...
K1BGH- Arthur, Cape Cod,
construction company/ice cream shop, hard working
W1VAK- Ed, Cape
Cod, lots of experience in all areas, once was a
Jacques Cousteus body guard....
Paul.....3910 test king....testing......always
easy going, kind of like Mr. Rogers until politics
are brought up then watch out...
K1BNH- Bill- Used to work for
a bottled gas company-we think he has been around
nitrous oxide to long .
K1PV- Roger....75 meter
regular, easy going guy...
Silent KeyWB1DVD- Gil....Gilly..Gilmore.....easy going,
computer parts selling, New England Ham..
Silent KeyKB1CJG-"Cobby"- Low
key gent can be found on many of the 75 meter
Mike, Antrim, NH, auto parts truck driver-retired
W1OKQ- Jack....3936 Wheeling
and Dealing......keeping the boys on there toes....
meter regular, wealth of electronic knowledge...
Mack....DXCC Master, worked them all!.. 3864 regular
for many years...
Hu....SK at 92... 3864 regular for many
Silent Key:N1WBD- Big
Bob- Tallest ham, at 6'10", of the 3864 group
W1FSK-Steve....Navy Pilot, HRO
Salesman, has owned every radio ever built!
from easy going cw and ssb op on 14275/313
Loved ham radio........Ham Radio Ambassador!
K1GAR- John- Very colorful
character!......self appointed "hambassador" by
Nice fellow to talk to on 3936 on the early
professional musician, one of the nice guys